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tv   Amanpour Sex and Love Around the World  CNN  April 21, 2018 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT

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i first came to k-town in the middle of the night and discovered a strange and fabulous and delicious slice of america i'd never known was there. but i'm trying to figure it out. i last visited shanghai in 1978, when china was communist and love was reserved for the revolution. sex was strictly controlled. conformity was the opiate of the masses.
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today is another universe. communism meets capitalism. attitudes to love and sex are shifting. but as with everything here, it's complicated. ♪ ♪
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[ speaking in foreign language ] >> in shanghai, lavish photo studios provide costume artists, makeup artists, to help turn every couple's fantasy into reality.
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[ speaking in foreign language ] >> for some couples, this photo shoot will be the biggest luxury of their lives. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> for years, marriage and relationships here have been controlled by three sacred pillars. family, tradition and state. i'm curious to find out what extent people are taking back control of their relationships, their love, their desire and their sexuality.
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♪ [ speaking in foreign language ]
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>> he is an artist to dares to dance on the edge of expression and censorship. undaunted by conservative values. [ speaking in foreign language ] >> so, this is normal for you? >> yeah. >> the models in wanimal's photographs are always nude and are exploring varying forms of sexual intimacy. this bit looks kind of sweet.
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you don't mind doing this for the world to see? [ speaking in foreign language ] >> shy but happy to be with him. after the shoot, i sat down to chat with wanimal and two of his muses, his wife and his model. >> i asked if your two models whether they are in love. and they said, yes, they are partners. why is it important, intimacy? [ speaking in foreign language ] >> so, what do you think about posing nude for your husband and for the world?
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[ speaking in foreign language ] >> are any of these you? this is you. you love doing this kind of modeling. >> i think the female body is definitely art. >> what about your own parents? >> they don't know. >> they've never seen this book? >> no, never. and i'm never going to tell them. >> why? >> china has a conservative history. and all of the women are very mentally restricted. my parents are really, really conservative. and they think your body is not for you to show other people. and you cannot have sex before marriage. and i don't think i will ever change their mind. >> what are you looking for in a partner? what do you want from a guy? >> first, he has to be handsome
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or you just cannot have sex with him, you know? and i think size really matters, too. >> size really matters. >> yeah. >> you mean tall? >> you mean -- >> the penis. >> yeah. what you're thinking it is, yeah. >> all right. i can see you two, very intimate and you work together. does this work help your sex life? [ speaking in foreign language ] >> ah. interesting. so, you take a lot of initiative? [ speaking in foreign language ]
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[ speaking in foreign language ] i saw the change in rich when we moved into the new house. but having his parents over was enlightening. ♪ you don't like my lasagna? no, it's good. -hmm. -oh. huh. [ both laugh ] here, blow. blow on it. you see it, right? is there a draft in here?
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perfect day. >> perfect day is a great, beautiful park. a lot of people out doing their own thing. >> a whole village is following us because of you. you're an incredibly popular person. how many people watch your show? >> every wednesday night, all over this world, 150 million chinese people. >> 150 million. >> yes. >> already renowned as a cancer and choreographer, she shot to superstar dam as a tv personality. one of the immensely popular programs she hosts is a dating show with a twist, where it's
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the important parents who get t dates for their children. how important is it for chinese culture and tradition, for the parents to see their children married? to make the children have a happy match? >> for chinese people, a happy family is four generations under one roof. the parents also can retire earlier. after they're retired, they want to be the grandparents as soon as possible. >> according to jing xin, marriage in family is still a public affair. and this shows the lengths that parents will go to find a good match for their child. what is this? >> you see the umbrellas here. >> a girl, born in 1987. height and working for the government company.
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every month income, 10,000. >> this is a marriage market. the idea is a shanghai phenomenon that's spread across china, where parents gather in the park to advertise not goods but their children. all these elderly -- middle-aged people, they are here trying to snare a match for their child? >> exactly. >> flyers are pinned to umbrellas detailing each child's best selling point. job, income, education. >> look at this one. born in 1984. not married. working for the foreign company. and she has her own apartment. >> that's major, to have her own apartment. >> exactly, a girl. must have an apartment and the same education. and must be only five years above her. >> that's pretty precise.
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so, she wants an educated shanghaiese, and ten centimeters higher than her. do the young people know their parents are doing this? >> 80% have no idea. most of the young kids, they feel shame. i need to find my own love for myself. it doesn't stop the parents. the marriage is not a two young people's issue, it is a family issue. >> it is incredible. >> and looking for the reward. after i'm getting old, they will be looking after me. >> that's what it's all about. nothing for free. no free lunch. >> no free marriage. >> exactly. exactly. [ speaking in foreign language ] [ speaking in foreign language ]
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>> my name is aaron kane. i am a conductor and compos eerf the rainbow chamber singers. >> the choir became famous for its tradition, which blended tradition with humorous lyrics. one of the big hits is the pressure that parents face when it comes to their love lives. ♪ [ speaking in foreign language ]
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♪ [ speaking in foreign language ] ♪
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shanghaiese women have a reputation for being ambitious, successful and uncompromising. >> the reason i come to shanghai, it's all about my career. to kind the right long-term relationship partner for me is sill lar to find the right ceo or manager in the firm. love is actually a science. you have to learn the theory and then you have to practice. for my mom, my dad is her first love. this story for me is insane. i would never marry someone who is my first love. without practicing, how can we find the right one? >> young people here are determined to get ahead, believing that with enough practice, anything can be learned.
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yet, when it comes to their love lives, many are absolute beginners. >> traditionally, we are reserved people. in all of chinese culture, one must control his emotion. control his sex desire. >> i received the same education. but i'm just not a good girl. >> in china, unmarried women over 27 are known as leftovers. unmarried men are bare branches. wu di aims to dispel the stigma and help these young singletons.
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>> the mission, is a relationship into marriage. introduce things to them as emotion, intimacy, sex, pleasure, body contact. >> her date camp takes the form of weekly seminars, counseling in how to flirt in how to dress for a date. i joined the dating guru for a tutoring session at a local boutique with a couple official her students. 27-year-old eve and 32-year-old stella. have you ever dated? >> yes. but most of the time on the first date that boys will not
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contact with me again. yes. >> after the first date, you never had another call? >> yes. i think there's something wrong with myself. >> no. nothing wrong with you. >> today's mission, we want to find a beautiful dress for the date. >> bright color. >> you think i have a good chance of getting a date? >> yeah. >> i could open it more. >> unbutton. >> there you go. >> no, it's too much. >> your face, you look horrified. >> it's just a little button. >> we're good girls. >> i try to tell them to be bad girls. >> i'm a little shocked. they not only look young, they act young. >> they don't look like they're adult women. but they are well educated.
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you work for the company and have decent pay. >> really? they're very naive. >> unfortunately. >> yes. >> here they come. wow. wow. that's gorgeous. >> i want to ask you girls, do you think about romantic and love satisfaction? do you feel you're missing something? >> yes. everyone told us study very hard and go to a good university. to get a very good job. but no one tell us how to have a very good intimate relationship with the boys. >> how did you grow up? what did you see between your parents? >> just a normal family -- >> hugging, kissing? >> no. >> you didn't get kisses from your parents? >> never. >> no kiss. >> no hug. >> sometimes feel very nervous to have the body touch. >> the body contact.
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>> have you ever had sex? are you a virgin? >> yeah. >> you're a virgin. >> yeah. >> that's the lesson we learn from the parents, right? don't let him think you are an easy girl. don't have sex with him before the engagement, otherwise he will treat you as a bitch. >> the thought that these two young women had never been hugged or kissed was heartbreaking. but i was encouraged to see that wu di was trying to teach her students a new set of rules. >> emotion is a new vocabulary for today's chinese. intimacy, body contact, kiss. for example, sex -- can women have sex only for pleasure? well, that's a serious question. i really want to help them to have a bigger vision of the
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world. ♪ >> the family concept that i had since childhood, falling in love, getting married, have a baby, happily ever after, is completely different than where i am now. i actually had my first marriage. and now, i'm on the fourth marriage. e and i have two kids from two different fathers. and also, continuously living the way that is not a traditional family life. motherhood is something very new for me because i didn't feel i learned that enough from my parents. they never come and cuddle me and say i love you. an expression of love is rarely
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permitted in most chinese families. with my kids i try to be very open, my maximum, unconditional love. with my daughter, i want to give her the comfort that she can talk to me about anything. when she feel really down, she says, i feel if i lose this boyfriend, i will never find any man. i say don't worry. i have one, two, three, four. if it's not yours, it's not going to be there. if it's yours, it will stay with you forever.
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when i first came to shanghai in the '70s, individuality was unthinkable. all these years later, i find the city is full of self-expressi self-expression. women have reclaimed control of their appearance, their sexuality and how they use it. ♪ [ speaking in foreign language ]
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[ speaking in foreign language ] >> in the world's most populous city, and urban isolation is growing, many people retreat online for a personal connection. [ speaking in foreign language ] ♪
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[ speaking in foreign language ] >> but petite tweet cakes isn't just live streaming for the love of her fans. these live streams can be very lucrative. her fans show their appreciation by buying her virtual giflts, which translate into hard cash for petite sweet cakes. last year alone, she made over $300,000. [ speaking in foreign language ]
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[ speaking in foreign language ] >> the big shift in china is
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knowledge. now, women start realizing what social norms are available to them that weren't available to them before. women do have the right to earn their own happiness. >> for a bit of r&r, i met up with a well-known voice in the chinese music industry. >> in china, before sex was perceived as something you ever talk about in public. and it is still not talked amongst people. >> polite company. >> yes. >> but helen has never been one to shy away from an awkward conversation. and she is known as the front woman at the front of the band
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nova heart. >> you sing about the sex workers? >> yes. i wanted to have a conversation about the roles in society that we consider roles in the sex trade. you have the streetwalker. massage parlor. ♪ listen all night >> you have the ktb girl. and we portray the character as honestly as we can. and at the end of it, we reveal that it's men. and we show that it's actually a loving man with a family. i thought it was a pretty cool project because of the debate it stirred up. some people said it's disgusting, et cetera, et cetera. some people said, look what this
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man had to do to feed his family. but one of the things that got me before they realized it was a man, is it's just a sex worker. >> the sex worker trade has been prevale prevalent. >> has been. it's going down now. >> why do you think that is? >> society never sees it as being kosher. there's been a crackdown on the sex trade. third, it's economics. as women become the primary educated group in china -- >> which is remarkable. in a short period of time. >> a very short period of time, they're not going to choose this option. people don't know what they can do until they've been shown that it's possible. this is the ocean.
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♪ i love to be on stage. i love dancing.
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my given name means golden star. i have a very happy childhood with my parents. but i'm still a little bit doubting, who am i? something different with me. ♪ i cannot live my life with a mask. i want to be myself. that's it. you don't know this woman. because biologically i was born as a boy. >> you were a man? >> yes. i was a man up to 6, 7 years old, i knew, i should be a girl like my sister. i was like, okay, i should be like her. where did this thinking come from? and i just keep this little
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thinking into my heart. and of course, after i became a dancer, i more and more discover myself, i should be a girl. >> but as a 9-year-old boy in the 1970s, jin xing was delivered to the liberation army. it was 1995 when she decided to fulfill her intermost ambition. you transitioned in 1984. this was before transgender was open. transgender was never talked about. >> we don't even think about it in china. >> you didn't have a name for it. >> no. >> was it scary? china wasn't known for its transgender surgery, for its sexual reassignment. did you know you would be able to do this safely here? >> i was the first case. i was gambling with myself. 50% i leave to the doctor, 50%,
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i put on the sky. >> was it difficult physically, difficult emotionally when you transitioned? >> i'm a dancer. i can endure a lot of physical pain. most difficult was psychologically. facing society. that was the new challenge the but my soul and my body became wo one. that's what i want. >> where does sexuality fit into this very traditional culture? >> i think chinese culture has a lot of space for tolerance. >> really? >> yeah. but we just don't talk about it. that's a difference between the chinese and the western. western loves to labelize everything. sometimes if you can't explain, just let it be. i followed my heart. >> tell us about matters of the heart. you're married. >> yes. >> to a german citizen?
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>> yes. >> how did you fall in love? >> at that time, he only know i was a dancer. i tell the whole story, i was a man, i was transgender. he broke away. and after one day, he come back, yes, i still want to date you. we married. my personal opinions, love and marriage are separate things. >> maybe westerners think we become so love so much, we get married. in china, love is love, marriage is another issue. marriage, two people must be working together. >> that's like a job. >> it is, it is. >> do you have a good sex life? >> very good. very good. my husband once told me, i'm very happy. i'm still attracted by you. good. come on. you need to talk. so, we're laughing about it. >> are there many women, public
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women like you, in china, who are as sassy, who are willing to push the boundaries and talk as bluntly as you do? >> i can tell you, chinese women are famous for that. make your life, you want it and you go for it. >> cheers. ♪ >> traditional chinese love is about sacrifice. in china, happiness is something luxury. family is so much more important. and happiness is something that's not 100% necessary. but i think that in order to know how to love, you have to love yourself first. this is what i believe.
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♪ >> what do you love about angela? >> wow. honest. >> honesty. >> yes. >> only one? >> homosexuality was decriminalized here in 1997. not only the hurtle to become is the judgment of society, but the judgment of their families. you didn't come out until you were 31. >> yeah. >> what was your mother and father thinking because in china, it's kind of old for a girl not to be married, right? >> i was married. >> you were married. >> yes. that's famous in chinese homosexual society, this is a way to help each other.
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it's a marriage for convenience. >> just so i'm clear, you got married in order to divert your parents' attention? >> right. i was under a lot of stress and pressure as the only child. my dad was also dying at the time. but i knew my parents' wish was for me to get married. >> have a baby. >> that's so hard. >> yeah. this marriage was so much more complicated than i thought. >> what happened? >> we've been dating for four years. i thought, you know, she was really the love of my life. i shouldn't and i couldn't continue a life with all the lies. so, i decided to end that marriage. >> yeah. so, what did you tell your mother? >> boess basically that i was b
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like this. it was nobody's fault and nothing wrong with me. my own mother should be able to accept me at the end of the day. >> did she? >> she did after 4 1/2 years. >> what? >> she came around and accepted us last year. >> really? >> yeah. >> you two have struggled quite mightily to be in love and to be together. how important has your inner life been to you, your emotional life, your sexual satisfaction? >> i feel quite satisfied on all levels of our relationship, emotionally and sexually. and we share the same shoes. >> yes. >> i like it. and the safey for "most parallel parallel parking job" goes to... [ drum roll ] ...emily lapier from ames, iowa.
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what is the concept of love and partnership in china, especially in shanghai today? >> western people show love to each other. in the movies, we see. chinese people, actually, not really kiss in the public. >> do you kiss in public? >> no. >> you're chinese people. >> but we love each other. that's true. >> when he declares his love, what do you think? >> i tell him, you're a liar. >> i tell her, i'm not liar. we love more than 25 years. so, please believe me, i really love you. >> he's saying he hasn't been pretending. >> right. >> what do you think when you hear your parents declare that? >> i never heard that. they rarely talk about stuff. i mean, the emotional side of their relationship. >> are you blushing? >> no, i'm not.
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no. i'm kind of, like, confused. i think it's the conventional way in china, is that the child tends to feel a need to actually keep to themselves about things like that, except in my family because i think we're more open about things. >> what do you share? >> any sort of close intimacy i've had. i tend to just feel happier if i'm doing well in that regard. >> i'm very happy he can tell everything to us. i think i'm lucky. >> that is lucky, actually. especially to have your son talk to you as a mom about intimate things. you don't judge? >> i think she just guides us along. >> my family, the children, the name, everything, she is my bass. i just focus on art. >> this is what i do. >> i just focus on art.
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[ speaking in foreign language ] [ speaking in foreign language ] >> shanghai is a city that's charging into the future, while still devoted to ancient traditions. attitudes to love and sex have certainly come a long way since the days of mao.
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while there's a rigidity to society, people are finding their own paths to self-expression. ghana, the fastest growing economy in africa. and yet -- >> the roads are developing. you need to develop a strong faith and audacity to survive in this system. ♪ ♪ the dragon's breath on your face ♪

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